I know I'm not alone when I say the hiring of Bill Callahan always felt a bit awkward. In switching to a West Coast offense, Nebraska suddenly seemed like it was trying to join the rest of the football world, despite a steep tradition of running an antiquated offense. And that was strangely uncomfortable, like watching your grandmother try to work a cell phone.
So as Bill's Bandwagon officially careened out of control and plunged over the cliff everyone saw coming with a 76-39 loss last weekend, I couldn't help but ask if my initial preposterous, off-the-wall wisecrack might've had some merit. Could Tommy Callahan, the oafish character played by Chris Farley, really have done a better job?
I ask this with a straight face.
Just for kicks, Huskers fans, let's pose the question: If you were given the opportunity to redo the hiring process, which Callahan would you have trusted more with the keys to your program: Bill or Tommy? One a former Super Bowl coach; the other a goofy dolt. Charged with rebuilding a fading program, who would you prefer? Take a look at their résumés; perhaps it's closer than you might think.
The problem with being named "Kirby" is you have absolutely no wiggle room. None. Since there's never really been a historically notorious "Kirby" at which to jeer, you are forever trapped in the shadows of Kirby Puckett, one of the best outfielders of all time, and the Kirby from the Nintendo series, one of the greatest video game characters ever conceived. It's a no-win situation.
So I sympathize with Miami quarterback Kirby Freeman after his horrible one-completion outing Saturday against NC State. Lord knows Miami has had better years of football -- and it's no fun being the whipping boy, whether your name is Kirby or Larry Coker.
Welcome back to the Quick Slants Trivia Contest, where you can correctly answer a reasonably challenging question for little or no reward. Good luck!
Today's question: Which is the only top 10 team with no bye weeks thus far this season? Answer in a bit.
There are only three players on top 10 teams who have looked impressive enough, for most of the year anyway, to win the Heisman Trophy: Dennis Dixon, Matt Ryan, and Chris "Beanie" Wells. Yet nobody is giving any love to Wells. Go figure.
Currently, Wells the 13th leading rusher in America with an average of 6.0 yards per carry for the top-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes; shouldn't we at least bring up his name for being the best offensive weapon on (arguably) the top team? If you've watched Wells play, you know he easily passes the "eye test" and looks the part of a dominant workhorse back with an NFL future. And if Tim Tebow can still be in the mix given his sophomore status and his team's three losses, what's the sticking point? In a wacky year when Gene Menez is throwing James Laurinaitis into the Heisman discussion, isn't it about time we started talking about Wells?
(Plus, this feels like the kind of year where a guy called "Beanie" would win, no?)
It's almost as if NBC commentator Tom Hammond woke up last Saturday, peered into his vanity mirror, and dared himself to mention Navy's 43-year losing streak against Notre Dame as many times as humanly possible. Simply put, Hammond repeated the facts of Navy's streak so many times that you'd swear he was a defective Furby. By midway through the third quarter, you had to wonder if he was getting extra wages for each reference.
Look, this might have added some luster to the game if Navy had overcome an insurmountable lead or even if the Midshipmen had been overwhelming underdogs. And to Hammond's credit, it's been extremely difficult finding compelling reasons to watch Notre Dame football. But the game was what it was: a battle of two teams that weren't very good. Let's not get carried away. A nice moral victory for Navy? Absolutely. Anything beyond that? Not so much.
1. Bigger free fall?California / South Florida
2. Better '80s sequel?Caddyshack II / Ghostbusters II
3. Wittier fantasy team name? "Pacman's Posse" / "Kibbles & Vick"
4. Better Full House character?Uncle Jesse / Joey Gladstone
5. Weirder name for a receiver? Limas Sweed (Texas) / Early Doucet (LSU)
6. Better Lance Armstrong date?Sheryl Crow / Ashley Olsen
7. More appropriate Florida State adjective? Enigmatic / Erratic
8. Best-looking Arizona university? Arizona / Arizona State
9. Softer football program?Virginia / UCLA
10. Next undefeated to fall?Kansas / Ohio State
Ohio State is the only team in the top 10 that has not had a bye week. Actually, none of the Big Ten's 11 teams have had one.
I'm about two years late on this, but why aren't more people -- especially guys -- talking about The Girls Next Door on the E! network? Seriously, why? I don't even know how this show passes FCC regulations. And that's not a bad thing.
The premise, as I understand it, is quite simple: Show as much frontal nudity as legally possible on cable television while chronicling the life and times of Playboy bunnies living at the Playboy Mansion. That's it. There is no plot. There is no riveting storyline. Just the minimal amount of censorship required by law and beautiful women who take their clothes off for a living.
This is an absolute can't-miss show.
Ty Hildenbrandt writes Campus Quick Slants every Wednesday. E-mail Ty at email@example.com with your comments, questions and random observations.